In Spain, the mobile platform Yonodesperdicio—in English, “I do not waste”—is working to transform waste into opportunity through food sharing. The app was created in 2015 by Prosalus, a nonprofit organization based in Madrid, aiming to create a network to facilitate food donation or exchange.
Spain produces over 8 million tons of food waste every year. In June 2019, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food published a report showing an 8.9 percent increase in food waste from 2017 to 2018 in Spanish households. Yonodesperdicio is the first web-mobile application of its kind in Spain, and it seeks to create a network to facilitate food donation and exchange, and ultimately reduce waste.
Laura Martos, Awareness Officer, and Teresa De Febrer, volunteer at Prosalus, tell Food Tank that lack of awareness among consumers is the main challenge in the fight against food waste: “citizens are not aware of the environmental, economic and social impact that food waste generates. Raising awareness of this issue will contribute to responsible and conscious decisions.” Yonodesperdicio is also investing in school projects to raise awareness among children. “To achieve commitment to sustainability, we are convinced that action with children and young people is essential and cannot be postponed,” Martos tells Food Tank.
Although the app is focused on household waste, Yonodesperdicio is also trying to create awareness about waste in other sectors, including businesses and universities. “Food waste must be tackled along all the links of the food chain, from the field to our table… We have established close contact with supermarkets, schools, universities, and political representatives. Public and private entities are becoming aware of the economic, social, and environmental consequences of food waste,” Martos explains to Food Tank. “The food industry has a very important role in raising consumer’s awareness and encouraging consumers to consider food waste.”
Yonodesperdicio is currently available only in Madrid, but the website also offers tips and recipes to help reduce food waste. To people who don’t have access to initiatives like this, Martos and De Febrer say: “we can all help to reduce food waste quite easily: just by better managing food purchase and consumption or reviewing our eating habits.”